A surprise in our CSA was 5 lbs of tomatillos. I would have rather had them around when I was making salsa two weekends ago, but better late than never, eh? Unfortunately, there were no tomatoes in the box – this was a mixed blessing. I eyed the mixed bag of chiles that had been accruing in the bottom of our crisper drawer – I had no idea what types of chiles where in there and how hot they were…
I decided to make tomatillo salsa, aka salsa verde, and roll the dice with the chiles. Big mistake.
I planned on making green chile enchiladas. However, after tasting the salsa (OMG!) I had to run to the store and buy mild store-bought green enchilada sauce to cut the heat in my homemade salsa. I used about 1 part salsa verde to 5 parts enchilada sauce. The enchiladas came out great.
Paint-Peeling Salsa Verde
- 5 chiles. If you have a choice in the matter, opt for 3 mild chiles like poblanos, and 2 hot chiles like jalapiños. If you’re looking to take a layer off your tongue, use mixed chiles found in the crisper drawer.
- 10 to 12 tomatillos
- 2 large onions
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 cup stock (vegetable, mushroom or chicken)
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup lime juice
1. Roast the vegetables: Turn on the broiler to high and give extra time to heat up the oven. Arrange one oven rack at the topmost position and the second oven rack at the bottommost position. Place the tomatillos in a baking dish and put on the bottom rack of the oven to roast. Place the chiles in a separate pan and place 4 to 6 inches below the broiler. Turn chiles to expose a new surface to the heat of the broiler, about 2 or 3 minutes or until the side facing the broiler is blackened and blistered. Once roasted, put the peppers in a plastic container or paper bag, to allow the residual heat to steam the peppers. Let the peppers sit for 15-30 minutes to cool. Allow the tomatillos to roast in the residual heat in the oven until their skin splits or looks brown.
2. Prep the Vegetables: Using a paper towel, rub the blackened skin off the peppers. Slice the pepper in half and remove the gills and seeds. Mince the peppers. Roughly chop the tomatillos with a knife or with 3 to 5 pulses of the food processor. Dice the onions. Mince the garlic. Chop the cilantro leaves. Juice the lime.
3. Cook the salsa: Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat the oil to shimmering and add the onions and garlic. Sweat for 5 minutes. Add the chiles, tomatillos, oregano and stock. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool.
4. In the blender or food processor, puree batches of salsa until smooth. Return to saucepot. Add cilantro and lime. Sir to combine.
Adjust the salt to taste.